D&D (2024) Jeremy Crawford: “We are releasing new editions of the books”

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Follower of the Way
From Tasha's: "The Beast Master in the Player's Handbook forms a mystical bond with an animal. As an alternative, a Beast Master can take the feature below to form a bond with a special primal beast instead." That is no different from other optional revisions, like the new PHB.

agreed, for new players, it won't be optional. For existing players it very much is however. Any existing group can choose too stay with 5e or not.
Your point is rather undercut by the word you chose not to bold. Specifically:

"As an alternative"

Whereas for Eustace Clarence 5e, the things in it are not "optional" alternatives (which, as Justice and Rule says, are not revisions) for a significant chunk of players. Old books will be discontinued--not true of the 5e PHB in the wake of Tasha's. Organized play will not allow Original 5e Do Not Steal Only Copy With Attribution--IIRC, also not true of the 5e PHB Ranger. Existing subclasses likely won't work entirely right with it, given Ranger is being rewritten with the new "expert" class...category? Not sure what to call it.

Eustace Clarence 5e is a revision. It is meant, over time, to fully and completely replace Original 5e Do Not Steal Only Copy With Attribution. Eustace Clarence 5e will be able to use most, if not all, adventures written for the replaced version without difficulty. It will, likely, be able to use most (but definitely not all) feats from the previous version with little difficulty. It will not be able to cleanly use every subclass from the replaced version. I believe subclass issues will be just frequent enough that you cannot just rubber-stamp them, you'll need to do a full review each time to be sure you don't run into issues of the "merging two recipes together instructs you to put the salad in the oven" variety. Even if most subclasses work fine, the few that don't will ensure that you have to be more thorough than you would with other things. Likewise, I predict that differences in spells will cause plenty of headaches over time.

More or less, I expect Eustace Clarence 5e to suffer from something akin to the Uncanny Valley problem. It is, truly, very like Original 5e Do Not Steal Only Copy With Attribution, in the same way that terrifying animated mannequins are very like living people. That it is so similar, but not quite perfectly matching, will be what causes people issues. Doubly so because the Kansas City Shuffle of trying to pretend nothing is replaced when...that's literally what it's for, to replace the old things with new (allegedly improved) things, will mean people will be continually grappling with the differences over time. PF1e avoided that by being a clean break--"switch to us, it's a real, real simple process, never look back!"

I am growing ever more fond of Screwtape's twist on an old phrase. WotC is trying to have its cake and eat it too, but I suspect they will end up actually paying for the cake and not eating it. Not that this will diminish the sales of Eustace Clarence D&D any. Far from it; it will almost certainly be highly successful, and tons of folks will point to this success and draw all sorts of extremely good and not at all flawed conclusions therefrom.

Because the term had a preexisting meaning long before WotC decided to abuse the term. It looks like WotC are course correcting.
Words are defined by their usage, not by some objective meaning descending from on high.

I don't share your opinion.
Okay. Good to know, I guess.


Follower of the Way
no, that is entirely irrelevant, because the 1DD classes also are alternatives. In either case, if you choose the alternative, then it replaces an existing feature
You keep insisting they are just alternatives. They aren't. They are very clearly intended to completely replace the originals. That's...the whole point of publishing a new, different PHB.

Unless you can provide something more than just the bald assertion that they are alternatives, I'm going to stick with the fact that they're publishing a new PHB as indicating that, y'know, the old one isn't meant to be used anymore. Doubly so for all the other reasons I mentioned that you ignored.

of course they could. Anything you can do without one, you can do with one as well.

Then why do it in a roundabout way that only really creates confusion? It just creates the same environment as an edition change without the clarity.

yeah, people will manage. I do not see much of an issue here

I don't see an issue with an edition change! It feels a lot more manageable for people and more honest, and just better in general for design.

no, that is entirely irrelevant, because the 1DD classes also are alternatives.

Are they? Is that the official line, that this is a sort of book of options and not meant to be an updated PHB? Or is that what people have kind of come up with to justify this?

In either case, if you choose the alternative, then it replaces an existing feature

No, that's not what is meant by "revision" or "replace" in this context. This is bordering on obtuse.


You keep insisting they are just alternatives. They aren't. They are very clearly intended to completely replace the originals. That's...the whole point of publishing a new, different PHB.
I keep insisting that they are not replacements, because they are not. They are optional alternatives that you can use to replace the 5e ones, choose to pick either, or ignore altogether. No matter which decision you make, you are still playing 5e and can still play any adventure with them.


Then why do it in a roundabout way that only really creates confusion?
we disagree on what is creating more confusion

Are they? Is that the official line, that this is a sort of book of options and not meant to be an updated PHB?
Yes they are. Why do you think WotC keeps them compatible? So no one uses the 2014 versions afterwards? They know that some people will stick with the 2014 versions, whether they call One D&D 5.5, 6e or 5e. They do not want to leave the 2014 players behind, no split like 3e to 4e. By definition this means that the One D&D books are optional.
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There seems to be little reason for the 2014:2024 "compatibility" concerns aside from the fact that wotc wants to continue selling books for the next several months. Are there any reasonable reasons to explain or justify it that doesn't amount to making it harder for the gm to shut down overpowered and broken combos built across editions?

After pages and pages across multiple threads there seems to be a central core of overpowered combos are easier to make if "compatibility" makes it easier to overrule the gm.


That's great that you don't think so! I disagree. It's different to have two different versions of the PHB out there with two sets of classes with identical names but difference balances. It will absolutely cause confusion. You're going to get people arguing about which class in which PHB is better and it's going to be a mess for things like Adventurer's League where you'd still have to allow a more unbalanced Druid and someone playing with the 2024 Druid is going to be like "Wait, why do they get the more powerful Wildshape"?

It's not just that everyone is going to be confused, either, it is just going to cause bunches of problems because it allows people to not adopt the new rules but continue old rules that aren't balanced against the new stuff. It's just bad design, flat out.

No, it isn't going to cause confusion. No one who is going to be arguing about the rule changes is going to be confused, because they by definition have to understand that these are two different versions.

Adventurer's League? In the absolutely RARE case that a person brings a 2014 Druid and ends up in the same game as a 2024 Druid... then maybe they might have an issue, but who is to say who has the more powerful version? Don't forget Wildshape isn't actually powerful for most druids at most levels. You'd need to have a 2014 Mood Druid and a 2024 Moon Druid, and if you have both, then the group can decide what to do with that. It isn't like there is going to be confusion, because, again, you are assuming someone involved who has full knowledge of the 2024 ruleset to explain the situation. "Why is my wildshape different?" "Because you are using the unrevised rules and I'm using the revised rules"

And as for it being bad design... no, it isn't. Because a 2014 Moon Druid that is brought to the table in 2025... is no different than a 2014 Moon Druid being brought to the table today. Any "problems" caused by that are problems that we are well-versed in dealing with. And if it is truly an untenable situation... then the DMs or the coordinators at the Adventurer's League can deal with that by just talking to people. The vast majority won't really have an issue.

You're right, and the simple answer is "That's not the official product that people are buying, that's a product one seeks out beyond the official product." Really, this is a terrible argument: official products are official products and are the biggest front-facing parts of the hobby. If you can't conceive the difference of scale between the two, then I'm not sure what to tell you other than "No, having two different PHBs is not like someone being able to download "Frank's Fantastic Fighter" from the Homebrewery.

But other than for Adventurer's League... yes, yes it is. Both are rule sets for the fighter, both can be at the table at the same time, and as long as we assume a level of quality from the design, then both are perfectly viable. In terms of practical effect like what you are trying to convince me is going to cause so much confusion and argumentation and problems.... this is the exact same thing. Two distinct, perfectly viable versions of the class, existing side by side. And home tables have dealt with this without problem.

Any issue you can imagine coming up at a home table between the 2014 classes and the 2024 classes are the exact same issues that any table who has had homebrew classes has dealt with. And, as someone who has played at some of the those tables... there was no confusion. We all knew what was going on.

You've completely confused your argument here. I'm the one arguing that the 2024 book should be a replacement for the 2014 book. That's what I'm arguing for. As a replacement, it would replace the old book, thus meaning the old book can't be used. Hence replaced.

Okay, then do that. But Wizard's isn't going to say that the 2024 revision replaces 5e. Because that'd be stupid of them to do.

I'm sorry, but this is a lot of pleading without much point. Sure, you can use the old one and it'll still be unbalanced... and that's why they were making a new PHB in the first place, so it kind of immediately defeats the purpose of having the new one. What I wanted was the classes to be better built, to have better internal balance. Going back on that negates the point for producing a fix. If I'm going to a Mortal Kombat tournament, if someone has the choice of picking Pre-Patch Tanya or the patched version, then they'll pick the former because it's out-and-out better.

And no, that choice would not be there otherwise. The choice would be different: play one edition or the other. That's not the same as bringing two sets of classes to a game at once. The point of rebalancing the game is to fix things, not make a choice as to whether or not people want to go to what might be a fix or not.

Two things.

1) Then are you saying there has been no point to the Fizban Dragonborn? They were released as a fix for the Dragonborn, but the 2014 Dragonborn still exist and are still a viable option. But you know what happened? The One DnD playtest reversed the Fizban version to the PHB version, and the species playtest showed that they bombed. So they put the Fizban version up in the repeat playtest... and the survey results shot up. It went from the low 60%'s to the 80's. A 20 pt jump in score. For something that, according to you, should have been pointless because they gave people a choice to use the fixed version or the unfixed version.

And I know, "but classes are bigger" but so what? Why should we assume that just because the size of the update is bigger, that it will have a different result?

2) Stop trying to use video games and code. It doesn't work. You physically cannot have two different versions of a video game running simultaneously. Also, Competitive fighting games are vastly different from cooperative games. You are literally saying that the DnD rules won't work because competitive tournaments don't do something that is impossible to do with digital media.

No, it's not that people are going to "analyze every possible version of the rules", it's just for people who like the previous versions better. We've already seen plenty of pushback on some of the designs submitted. If they can go back to the old ones, then what's the point of having the new ones?

Further, there are an astounding amount of the old and new PHBs in the wild. You don't need to be a min-maxer to find a copy of the old book mistakenly, since it's also completely legal anyways. Or someone who sees the old Druid in action and says "Wow, that's better than what's in here." Really, when you tell someone they have a more effective or better option, people generally go to that. They find out about it. It's the nature of the internet. I have casuals in my group who at least look up how their class works and if they are building something right. They aren't on these forums, they don't have a DriveThruRPG account, but you don't need that to want to just see if you are doing something right. People look up guides all the time; it's very much part of the youth culture nowadays. Acting like this is some fringe thing misses how common it actually is.

If someone just likes the 2014 version better... then they might just be able to use it. So what? That doesn't make the 2024 version useless. Like, I don't understand this point of view that there can only ever be one legal version of a class or everything falls apart. That isn't how it works now, so why would it be how it works in the future?

And let's think this out. Someone goes online, finds the 2014 rulebook by mistake, doesn't realize it, makes a character and brings it to the game and no one realizes it... then it isn't a problem. So rewind, they find a 2014 rulebook by mistake, don't realize it, bring their character to the game and someone realizes it... and then they talk about it, and decide what to do. Where's the problem? Someone who can be confused by the 2014 rulebook and have no idea about the differences likely doesn't even know that the 2014 rulebook is still "legal" after the 2024 book, because they don't know the two books are even different. So what do you expect to happen? Some mild embarrassment of "oh, I found an old version of the rules?" They probably aren't going to be super angry and confrontational about using the old rules instead of the new. And if they really like something from the old rules, then the group can talk about mixing and matching, homebrewing and making new game content... which they are already allowed to do.

You just keep assuming there will be a problem, but it could also just.. not be a problem.

I'm simply requiring that there be one PHB and one set of classes. I think that's pretty reasonable by any standard. I think there is plenty of nuance to it, but I think your view that this simply will not be a problem eliminates most of it because it writes off most of the confusion that can be caused as "I don't think so. I think they could handle that."

Yeah, because this game has never truly existed in an environment where there was only one set of classes or one set of rules. There have always been dozens of options. If I'm not playing adventurer's league, what do I care about "official" or "legal" we change rules all the time in our games.

I mean, this is basically negated by your own argument about homebrew anyways: if people want that, they'll be able to find it on Day 2 if they desire it. It's not like they didn't have to wait a year in 5E before they got a shot at it anyways (and are we sure it's not going to be an initial Rogue archetype?). Really, the idea that "You won't have all the things you had previously!" will kill this then 5E wouldn't have sold anyways because you wouldn't have had all the 4E material that fans wanted.

Except how many times have DMs kiboshed that by saying that you can't use this or that because it isn't officially in the rules? You yourself argued that we can't count Unearthed Arcana content for alternative classes not causing confusion because it wasn't official content and so therefore didn't count.

And yeah, losing all the 4e material hurt a lot of people. I haven't used a single one of my 4e books since the Next Playtest started. I have them in storage now because they were just collecting dust. It DID kill it. I never went out and bought another 4e book, even though there were plenty I didn't have. Because there was a new edition, and all the rules were changing, so why not wait and get those? And we aren't saying that breaking will kill One DnD, we are saying it will kill 5e, because it will. And there is no reason to kill 5e.

Well, yes, moving on to a new half edition typically means moving away from the old. But more seriously, the idea that this will destroy D&D is kind of laughable. This is just scare tactics.

No, it isn't scare tactics it is you not listening. I'm not saying it will destroy DnD, I'm saying it will destroy 5e.

The historical data doesn't show this. The most recent data doesn't indicate this, even, because 5E is the most successful edition of any D&D out there. You can try to spin different excuses as to how it's different, but that's the point: the context of every edition change is different. Acting like changing editions will kill the game misses that the game shouldn't be thriving like it is right now. Hinging your argument on it is just not going to work because we wouldn't be having this discussion right now if it were true.

Except is absolutely shows what I'm talking about, because the change from 3 to 3.5 killed 3. Just because 5e is the most popular version of the game ever doesn't mean it will be immune to that impact. And even if it was... why create that impact unnecessarily? You seem to think a half edition change is nothing, but the historical data says you are wrong.

Alternatively, those who want this to work seem to be determined to dismiss any reason that it could possible backfire. When your argument is focused around "You people won't listen!", it cuts both ways.

Because every reason you give for it backfiring anticipates the absolute worst-case scenario, then stacks that with no one talking to each other and finding a solution.

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